Archive for the ‘Income Property’ Category

Part 1: My Tenants Haven’t Paid Rent For Months

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

We are posting some of the thousands submissions sent from landlords across Ontario. Make your voice heard.

I know a lot of landlords really frustrated now and I am too. So we asked if our my submission could be published for people to read.

Hopefully others will see they aren’t alone in dealing with these challenges and those with power can see what is really happening.

Our Story – We Did Every Thing Right, The System Is Wrong

Like many others reading here we are not a rich. We are originally immigrants who saw Canada as a peaceful land which followed the rule of law instead of the law of personality and corruption.

We arrived and are both working class people who only bought our own home later in life. We rented for years and  made sure rent was a priority to pay.

We are still coupon cutters and saved every cent we could. Yes, I’m that person you see lined up at the grocery store the morning of a sale.

We have an old tv and almost never take any vacations  and we are fine with that because we want to plan for our future.

We have never bought a new car, always used. We didn’t even want to buy a car but found public transportation lacking and not convenient, especially in the cold winters.

Finally Built a Small Nest Egg

When we finally had some savings a few years ago we were looking to invest somehow. Our money was just sitting in the bank and we spoke with our bank representative about options.

She told us we could go into GICs, but they paid very little interest. And the stock market was something we were not comfortable with because it looks to us like a casino where only the insider players make money.

We were still looking for options.

Buying A Property To Rent

After long talks with each other, we came across the idea of buying a rental property.

We rented for years and remembered how tough it was to find a really nice place. We always worried about the landlord/property management because many of the rental buildings were not well maintained in our city. When we needed to move and find a new place due to work reasons it felt like Russian roulette.

So we decided we can try to buy a well located property and make it the nicest one around.

And we would be the best landlords around.

We wanted the property and how it was run to be exactly what we always looked for but never found. We planned to personally take care of the property, fix things quickly and with high quality materials, and charge an affordable price.

Our goal was people would see our place compared to others and get to know us for a mutually respectful business relationship.

Great Duplex, Great Rental, Great Location

We spoke with our bank and learned what we needed to qualify for the mortgage. I know tenants are talking a lot about mortgage fraud by small landlords and it does exist, especially for people with multiple rentals. This is wrong and makes us all look bad.

Fortunately for us we had high credit from always paying our bills and could qualify to buy a property in a certain price range.

We spent months looking and looking and the more places we saw the more we were confident we could be the best landlords around. So many of places for sale were run down, damages, smelled horrible, and not something we would have wanted to rent.

Our real estate agent finally showed us a property in a good area close to public transportation, shopping, and schools. It was vacant and we were told by our real estate agent the current owner was a foreign investor who wanted to sell.

We made our offer and after some wiggling it was accepted! We finally had our investment property, in a nice area and now it was our time to have the perfect rental property with (we hoped to be) amazing, caring landlords.

Fixing The Property

In our area it’s hard to find a really nice rental in a great area. Now we at least had the great area. Now it was time to fix it.

We did everything ourselves except the new shingles and the electrical and plumbing. We spent weeks scrubbing, painting, putting in new flooring and landscaping.

We spent more on our rental than in our own home for things like blinds, curtains, new counter tops, new appliances, and new clean light switches.

Both the upper and lower units looked like brand new houses.

We made them into places we always hoped to find but always ended up disappointed.

Great Property On The Market At An Affordable Price

We felt great even after coming home at midnight after doing sanding, painting and other fixing issues in the new property.

We had one of the best properties on the market, we wanted to be the best most friendly landlords ever, and were optimistic and excited.

We are both working class people wanting to help working class people like us!

Things Started Off Well

We found good tenants for both units in the upper and lower apartments. We made sure to use the right legal materials and rent credit checks with Rent Check.

It was a good first year. Unfortunately, the lower unit moved out after a year and the couple of teachers moved out after two years because they bought their own townhouse.

Our next tenants moved in and things were also good for a long while.

No Evictions, No Landlord And Tenant Board, No Law

They are legally “playing the system”

Things have changed in 2020. We had our first problems with the downstairs tenant who didn’t pay rent in February. He hasn’t paid since.

Then after Premier Ford say tenants didn’t have to pay rent in March our upstairs tenants have refused to pay. They told me it’s “their right.” They didn’t want to negotiate, didn’t want to work things out.

Our Tenants Are Now Not Paying Rent And We Can’t Evict Them And We are Owed Thousands of Dollars in Rent With No End In Sight!

This is all because the government is not allowing the legal system to operate… and we suspect our tenants are abusing the system because they know they can’t be evicted! Isn’t Canada supposed to be a nation of laws and not one of lawlessness?

Things were about to become worse. Doug Ford where are you to help me and my family not go bankrupt!

To Be Continued…

ODSP Recipient Tenants Struggling To Survive Pandemic

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

OLA Member Small Landlords Working Together With Our Tenants In These Challenging Times

Many people mistakenly think all tenants receive CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) equaling $2000.00 per month. This leads some landlords to create their payment plans based on this.

Recently there was an important report on Citynews called “ODSP recipients struggling to survive pandemic”. This has helped us educate landlords and created a flurry of discussion amongst our members.

-According to the report, tenants on ODSP get less than $1200.00 per month.

-Also, ODSP recipients are not eligible for the CERB ($2000.00/mo) and can be punished with claw-back of benefits if they apply.

-People are being left destitute with less than $50/week to feed themselves.

Let’s Get The Message Out

For over a decade the Ontario Landlords Association has always been about good landlords working together with good tenants for a win-win situation (or survival-survival situations during these challenging times). 

Our members are working class people. These include carpenters, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs, health care workers, police officers, fire-fighters, plumbers, seniors and others. We have invested to try to create some monthly cash-flow and prepare for their retirement.

Our members don’t live in mansions (and many of our members rent out their basements).

1. Landlords Make Sure You Are Aware Of The Real Challenges Your Tenants Face

Many of our members rent to ODSP recipients. Make sure you are aware of the financial reality your tenants face.

Talk with your tenants, work things out, understand each others concerns.  Create a realistic payment or deferral plan based on real data.

2. The Provincial Government Needs To Help Tenants On ODSP 

The provincial government needs to step up and help out ODSP recipients pay rent.

The Premier and the Minister Of Housing are aware of the challenges small residential landlords and tenants face and already reached out to the federal government (which refused to help).

With rising food and medical costs, tenants on ODSP need help from the province.

Landlords are helping but many small landlords need rent to survive and are struggling as well.

We don’t want to evict anyone (it’s the last resort) and many of us have strong, friendly relationships with our tenants.

We don’t hire property managers or lawyers to intimidate tenants. What we do is call and chat and try to work things out.

3. It’s time for an emergency “rent grant” to all tenants on ODSP or OW from the province

Small landlords aren’t rich and we have limits. We need the province to setp up to the plate.

The logistics of this will not be difficult. The province of British Columbia is already helping all tenants by paying landlords up to $500 per month to help cover tenant rent.

Let’s Stop Evictions…Here’s The Solution

Recipients on ODSP or OW can access a “rent grant” that will cover their rent for the next 6 months (which will be renewed if we are still in lock-down)

This payment will be sent to the landlord directly and the landlord will agree not to file for eviction.

Boom goes the dynamite – most evictions will be cancelled!

4. Let’s Extend This To All Residential Tenants in Ontario

-Want to avoid landlord-tenant conflict?

-Want to make sure their is no tsunami of evictions when the Landlord and Tenant Board eventually opens?

The province can easily step in and help tenants. If the government helps commercial landlords and tenants, why not help residential landlords and tenants?

The Province Needs To Help Tenants And Stop Putting The Financial Burden On Struggling Small Landlords Creating Unnecessary Conflict With Our Tenants

Airlines are getting a bail-out. Commercial landlords are getting a bail out.

What about tenants?

We need government to play a role and stop pitting landlords vs. tenants.

If this is too expensive, make the “Rent Grant” available to only tenants who are on ODSP, OW, rent from small landlords. 

We think this rent grant should go to all tenants but if there are true budget constraints at least help out tenants on ODSP, OW, and tenants who rent from small landlords.

This will make corporate lobbyists angry. But those billion dollar REITS aren’t worried about being able to pay their property taxes in June like many small landlords are.

And while these corporate landlords can spend a lot of money to politicians, they are not the same as hundreds of thousands of voters who thought they were getting a pro-business leadership.

THIS CAN HAPPEN: No Evictions, Small Landlords Secure, Tenants Secure, And We Are A Team During This Pandemic…It’s Easy To Do!

Ontario can lead  the way and be a role-model for the rest of Canada.

If millions of dollars can be invested on widening highways, money can surely be spent on saving the residential rental industry in Ontario.

…and saving hundreds of thousands of working class landlords and tenants from stress, conflict, trial dates, evictions…and worse.

Did Your Tenants Pay May 1st Rent?

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

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Small Landlords Need To Get Rent And Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Ontario Landlords Require A Functioning System Where Rent Is Paid On Time & Non-Paying Tenants Are Evicted. Or Many Of Us Will Go Bankrupt & Have No Choice But To Sell Our Rentals

The entire world is worried about the pandemic known as Covid-19.  Countries such as Italy have even ordered a nation-wide quarantine that will keep citizens stuck in their home and unable to use public spaces.

The province of Ontario also has a growing number of cases and Premier Ford has declared a state of emergency. This had led to restaurants being closed, schools closed, and other actions.

Ontario Tenants Face Challenges

Many tenants are dealing with reduced hours at work or even job losses. On top of this tenants are using saved up money to stock up on essentials in case they have to self-isolate.

Small Landlords Often Rented Before We Became Housing Providers

Unlike the large corporate landlords, small landlords are regular people who also face serious challenges. As many of us rented at some point in our lives, we understand and sympathize with what tenants are dealing with. However, we ask everyone to understand our situation as well.

Rent Freezes, Evictions Bans, And A Closed Down Landlord And Tenant Board

Many of our members are very concerned about some of the ‘solutions‘ that are being brought forth by some tenant groups, some people in the provincial government, and some people in the media.

These so-called solutions include a freeze on rents, don’t pay rent, don’t allow any legal evictions, don’t enforce evictions and more.

While these sound dramatic and helpful they will only harm the entire rental industry and tenants themselves

Small Landlords Are Not Faceless Corporate Giants

We’ve worked hard over the past decade to show that small landlords need to be put in different category compared to the corporate landlords.

We’re not rich. We hold jobs and many of our members are teachers, fire-fighters, secretaries, mechanics, doctors, painters, plumbers, electricians, Realtors, small business owners and even helicopter pilots and retired athletes.

We rely on rent to keep our businesses going.  When a tenant pays rent to us, we are paying property taxes, insurance, mortgages and for maintenance (which is not nearly as inexpensive as tenants think it is). If we don’t receive rent, we still need to pay all these costs.

And many small landlords require rent each month just to cover all these costs!

We Need To Find Real Win-Win Solutions

Small landlords are aware of the serious challenges tenants face. Some of our OLA members are already providing their tenants with extra heaters, blankets and…toilet paper. We’re trying to help!

One our OLA members is even going to Walmart, Metro and Shoppers Drug Mart to buy diapers and milk and groceries and medicine for a single mom tenant who is afraid to take her baby out shopping with her.

This is what good small landlords do for our tenants. We don’t want conflict with tenants, we want win-win situations.

Rent Freezes, No Evictions, Closing Down The LTB, No Sheriff Enforcement Are Not Solutions

All these so-called ‘solutions’ are simply demonizing the landlord and placing the entire financial burden tenants face on to the small landlord.

This won’t work.

Small landlords need a functioning system where we get paid rent and can evict non-paying tenants in a fair and efficient legal venue.

If these so-called ‘solutions’ become part of the system it will lead to many bankrupt small landlords and many will sell their rentals (often to a person who wants it for their own use).  This will inevitably lead to an even lower vacancy rate.

Let’s Create A Tenant-Landlord Alliance For A Win-Win Solution

So landlords are aware of the challenges tenants face. Hopefully, after reading this, tenants will be aware of what small landlords face.

So what are some win-win solutions?

Province Provides Grants of Interest Free Loans For Tenants

We already see how the excellent Toronto Rent Bank helps tenants. They are hard working people running it who truly care.

So why not create a new large province-wide Ontario Rent Bank? The government can put in financial resources to create a large province-wide Rent Back.

This would be a place for tenants who are in need to get help to pay their landlord.  Either a grant (for 1 -3 months of rent) or an interest free loan.

Every Evicted Tenant Can Get Places Into Government Social Housing

How much money is spent on social housing? It’s huge. So why isn’t it more effective and better managed?

How about the Landlord and Tenant Board works with government social housing providers across Ontario?

And if someone is officially evicted these government social housing groups reach out to the evicted tenant to help them find a place to stay (thus eliminating homelessness) if they want it (many tenants will just find a new place).

Let’s Fix This And With Smart Long Term Logical Ideas

There are tenant groups out there screaming “stick it to the landlord”.  There are also some minor hick landlord social media outlets filled with uneducated people and owners looking to make a buck saying “tenants just pay or else and also no tax dollars fer them!”

Both extremes should be ignored.  Small landlords need to be protected and the best way to help tenants is to protect good small landlords!

The reality is it’s time for the province of Ontario to pick up it’s game and take some responsibility!

Instead of a deluge of selfies the corporate landlords are making (who pay a fortune for lobbyists and have their staff follow a minister around carrying his umbrella in the rain, opening doors for him and giving him a hug and bringing in lunch when needed) we need real effective change to help both tenants and landlords.

OLA members are shocked that the solution to help tenants is to say “don’t pay rent…because you can’t be evicted”.  Many of us will remember this well in the next election.

OLA MEMBERS SPEAK OUT

-We need to quickly work for win-win solutions to help both good tenants and good landlords.

-We need to get the Landlord and Tenant Board Working (and working fast) and Tenants also to be protected by new government programs such as loans and grants to pay their legal rent.

-The current plan of “no evictions” is beyond foolish and will dramatically harm the Ontario rental industry and lead to anarchy and chaos. 

We need real leadership, not pandering to the worst instincts of tenant voters. 

Landlord Opinions – Get Your Voice Heard!

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Pandemics, Border Closures, Businesses Shut Down. Challenges for Landlords, Tenants And the Rental Industry 

The Ontario Landlords Association continues our over a decade long fight to make sure the issues of good landlords and good tenants are at the forefront.

We continue to educate so-called ‘tenant activists’ on the realities we face and counter their memes and myths like no one else.

We want to make sure the general public knows that good landlords want to cooperate with good tenants but that we aren’t rich and “landlords have rights too.” We want  good landlords and good tenants succeeding together.

Make Your Voice Heard!

While we continue to have great discussions in our hugely popular forums, we want your direct opinions as we continue to deal with media and government to protect good landlords and good tenants.”

Results will be sent to Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau.

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